A Fish Out Of Water No More: What I Learned About Myself & Others At My First Idaho Fly Fishing Derby

Idaho2Fly was created to provide support for men with cancer. They offer 3-day fly fishing retreats at established resorts for men with all types of cancer, in any stage of treatment or recovery. All equipment, food and lodging are provided free of charge to their guests.

I enjoyed meeting the men who put on these retreats and seeing their passion for helping others through the access their sport can facilitate. They appreciated the coverage from my article and have stayed in touch with me, inviting me to volunteer at one of this year’s retreats. I knew the cost of admission would be learning to fly fish. As an native Idahoan this has been for me an unclaimed birthright.

Read More
Celebrating the Lives of two Women

Trina impacted my life in such a significant way. She was breathtakingly stunning - her smile, her laugh, her energy - she was also strong, opinionated and a bit mischievous. However, the day I met Trina she was extremely fragile and vulnerable having only recently discovered that her battle with breast cancer was no longer at detente.

We didn’t accommodate cancer as a third wheel to our friendship, but fighting it served as our glue.

Read More
Treasure Valley’s Wishgranters helps make final dreams come true

Suffering from emphysema and in the final stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, DeWayne Wadsworth was wheeled into the Allen Noble Hall of Fame in his wheelchair by his grandson Alex Wood with daughter Michele Alidjani and granddaughter Marissa Jones following closely behind. “This is my last game. It means everything. This is special to me — I don’t want to get all tearing up now — but ya, it’s special.”

Read More
Bustin’ Out Of Boise walks alongside women going through cancer

In 2014, the women were motivated to start their own 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, calling themselves Bustin’ Out Of Boise (BOOB), for the purpose of raising funds for breast cancer and distributing them locally. A year later, they formulated a strategy that refocused and refined their efforts. Many women fighting cancer experience gaps in their home life, especially during the time they are in treatment. Now, the group is dedicated to these women by helping ease the burden of the daily tasks so that the women can focus on their health and healing.

Read More
Idaho 2 Fly blends fly fishing, cancer support

When it comes to finding local cancer support groups designed specifically for men, you won’t find many. “Men by their nature are closed off and don’t naturally gravitate to talking about stuff like cancer. They are taught to be stoic — to tough it out. It used to be when you got your head dinged playing football you were told, ‘Get back in there, you got your bell rung, now go play!’ It’s just part of our nature to be strong, so men think that talking about things like cancer will be seen as weakness, even when deep down they are scared as hell,”

Read More
Party celebrates life - before death

I received a phone call last month from a local pastor looking for a photographer for a 25th wedding anniversary and renewal of vows service. I would soon learn that this wasn’t the typical type of celebration. The wife, Marcia, was in the very end stages of her struggle with ovarian cancer. The event in her backyard would also be serving as her goodbye party with her closest friends.

Read More
Steps To Take After You Get A Breast Cancer Diagnosis

In January 2013, I was contacted by a photographer who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Debbie Gibb and her husband, Mike, asked me to capture their journey through photos.

What I learned over the next 18 months changed the way I view patient rights and advocacy. I have met some wonderful, talented and caring doctors, nurses, surgeons, therapists and social workers in our hospital systems. I have also experienced, with Debbie and several other breast cancer patients, how some areas of patient care can easily fall through the cracks.

Read More
Cancer Is The Enemy, But More Funding Will Help Win The War

In October 2013, I wrote an article about metastatic breast cancer (MBC) for the Idaho Statesman. I profiled four Idaho women whose breast cancer had spread to other parts of their bodies, a condition for which there is currently no cure. Two of those women have since passed.

The numbers around breast cancer are staggering: One in eight women are diagnosed with the disease and around a third of those have their cancer metastasize. While it isn’t the facts and figures that have motivated me to advocate for MBC research, this past year I determined that if I cared about seeing the lives of my MBC friends extended, I needed to focus more on the numbers.

Read More
Rise Above

“My only rule for this is that you never look down on me. I’m better than your pity. The reason that I don’t normally share my story is that I’m in a better place than I should be. My reality is that I should either be dead or a crack-whore. I’m absolutely one of those girls that is from the wrong side of the tracks,” she pauses, “but I’ve made it to the other side.”

Read More